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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 4, Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 5, Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 6

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Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 4

1

All of the sacrifices may be offered only during the day,1 as [can be inferred from Leviticus 7:38]: "On the day when He commanded the children of Israel to offer their sacrifices." [Implied is] during the day and not at night. Therefore sacrifices are slaughtered only during the day and their blood is sprinkled [on the altar] on the day of the slaughter, as [can be inferred from ibid.:16]: "On the day he offers his sacrifice." Implied is that on the day the sacrifice is slaughtered, it should be offered.2 When the sun sets [on that day], the blood is disqualified.3

א

כָּל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת אֵין מַקְרִיבִין אוֹתָן אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז לח) "בְּיוֹם צַוֹּתוֹ אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהַקְרִיב אֶת קָרְבְּנֵיהֶם" בַּיּוֹם וְלֹא בַּלַּיְלָה. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין זְבָחִים אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם וְאֵין זוֹרְקִין דָּמִים אֶלָּא בְּיוֹם הַשְּׁחִיטָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז טז) "בְּיוֹם הַקְרִיבוֹ אֶת זִבְחוֹ" בְּיוֹם הַזְּבִיחָה תִּהְיֶה הַהַקְרָבָה. וְכֵיוָן שֶׁשָּׁקְעָה הַחַמָּה נִפְסַל הַדָּם:

2

As long as the elements that cause a sacrifice to be permitted were offered4during the day, [the other elements of] the sacrifice may be offered on the altar throughout the night.

What is implied? When the blood of sacrifices was sprinkled during the day, their eimorim5 may be offered on the fire of the altar at night until dawn.6Similarly, the limbs of the burnt-offerings may be offered on the fire of the altar until dawn.7 In order to distance [a person] from inadvertent transgression,8 our Sages declared that the eimorim and the limbs of the burnt-offerings should only be offered on the fire of the altar until midnight.

ב

כָּל שֶׁקָּרְבוּ מַתִּירָיו בַּיּוֹם מַעֲלִין אוֹתוֹ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כָּל הַלַּיְלָה. כֵּיצַד. זְבָחִים שֶׁנִּזְרַק דָּמָם בַּיּוֹם מַקְטִירִין אֵימוּרֵיהֶן בַּלַּיְלָה עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר. וְכֵן אֵיבְרֵי הָעוֹלוֹת מַקְטִירִין אוֹתָן בַּלַּיְלָה עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר. וּכְדֵי לְהַרְחִיק מִן הַפְּשִׁיעָה אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁאֵין מַקְטִירִין הָאֵימוּרִין וְאֵיבְרֵי הָעוֹלָה אֶלָּא עַד חֲצוֹת הַלַּיְלָה:

3

Even though the eimorim and the limbs [of the sacrifices] may be offered on the fire of the altar at night, they may not be willingly delayed. Instead, an attempt should be made to offer everything during the day, for it is desirable that a mitzvah be performed at its designated time. [The importance of this can be seen from the fact that] the offering of the eimorim and the limbs [of the sacrifices] on the fire of the altar supersedes the Sabbath prohibitions on that day. We do not delay this until Saturday night.9

ג

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמֻּתָּר לְהַקְטִיר אֵימוּרִין וְאֵיבָרִים בַּלַּיְלָה אֵין מְאַחֲרִין אוֹתָן לְדַעַת. אֶלָּא מִשְׁתַּדְּלִין לְהַקְטִיר הַכּל בַּיּוֹם. חֲבִיבָה מִצְוָה בִּשְׁעָתָהּ שֶׁהֲרֵי הֶקְטֵר אֵימוּרִין וְאֵיבָרִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכְּשֵׁרִים בַּלַּיְלָה דּוֹחִין אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת בִּזְמַנָּן וְאֵין מְאַחֲרִין אוֹתָן לְמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת:

4

Any element of a sacrifice that may be offered only during the day, e.g., the handful [of flour from the meal-offering], the frankincense [from the meal-offering], the incense offering, and the meal-offerings that are burnt [on the altar],10 may be offered [on the altar] at sunset.11 They then continue to be consumed [by the altar's fire] the entire night like the limbs of the burnt offerings.

ד

כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ קָרֵב אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם כְּגוֹן הַקֹּמֶץ וְהַלְּבוֹנָה וְהַקְּטֹרֶת וּמְנָחוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת מֻתָּר לְהַקְרִיבָן עִם מְבוֹא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ. וְהֵם מִתְאַכְּלִין וְהוֹלְכִין כָּל הַלַּיְלָה כְּאֵיבְרֵי עוֹלָה:

5

The libations that are offered with sacrifices12 are only offered during the day,13 as [Numbers 29:39] states: "And for their libations and for their peace-offerings." An association is established between the peace-offerings and the libations. Just as the peace-offerings [are offered only] during the day, so too, the libations must be offered during the day. Nevertheless, the libations that are offered independently may be sanctified at night and offered at night.14 Therefore if it happens that a person obtains libations that are brought independently, he should15 sanctify them at night and offer them at night.16 Dawn disqualifies [these libations], as it disqualifies the limbs of the burnt-offering.17

ה

הַנְּסָכִים הַבָּאִים עִם הַזֶּבַח אֵין קְרֵבִין אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כט לט) "וּלְנִסְכֵּיכֶם וּלְשַׁלְמֵיכֶם". מַקִּישׁ נְסָכִים לִשְׁלָמִים מַה שְּׁלָמִים בַּיּוֹם אַף נְסָכִים בַּיּוֹם. אֲבָל הַנְּסָכִים הַבָּאִים בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן מִתְקַדְּשִׁין בַּלַּיְלָה וּקְרֵבִין בַּלַּיְלָה. לְפִיכָךְ אִם נִזְדַּמְּנוּ לוֹ נְסָכִים הַבָּאִין בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן מַקְדִּישָׁן וּמַקְרִיבָן בַּלַּיְלָה וַעֲלוֹת הַשַּׁחַר פּוֹסֶלֶת בָּהֶן כְּאֵיבְרֵי הָעוֹלוֹת:

6

The entire day is acceptable for semichah, slaughter, severing a fowl's head,18 offering objects on the altar's fire, bringing [meal] offerings to the altar,19 sprinkling [blood on the altar], waving [sacrificial offerings],20 taking a handful of the meal offering,21 and bringing the Musaf offering.22 The entire night is acceptable to offer the eimorim and the limbs on the altar's fire.23

This is the general principle: When the mitzvah is to perform a particular act during the day, it is acceptable throughout the day. If the mitzvah is to perform the act at night, it is acceptable throughout the night. Nevertheless, the eager hasten to perform the mitzvot.24

ו

כָּל הַיּוֹם כָּשֵׁר לִסְמִיכָה וְלִשְׁחִיטָה וְלִמְלִיקָה לְהֶקְטֵר לְהַגָּשָׁה וּלְהַזָּיָה וְלִתְנוּפָה וְלִקְמִיצָה וּלְקָרְבַּן הַמּוּסָפִין. וְכָל הַלַּיְלָה כָּשֵׁר לְהַקְטִיר אֵימוּרִין וְאֵיבָרִים. זֶה הַכְּלָל דָּבָר שֶׁמִּצְוָתוֹ בַּיּוֹם כָּשֵׁר כָּל הַיּוֹם. וְדָבָר שֶׁמִּצְוָתוֹ בַּלַּיְלָה כָּשֵׁר כָּל הַלַּיְלָה. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן זְרִיזִין מַקְדִּימִין לְמִצְוֹת:

7

As an initial preference, all of the sacrificial animals may be slaughtered only with a knife that is a sacred utensil. Nevertheless, if one slaughtered it with any article [fit] to slaughter an ordinary animal - even the edge of a bulrush25 - it is acceptable.26

ז

כָּל הַזְּבָחִים אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין אוֹתָן לְכַתְּחִלָּה אֶלָּא בְּסַכִּין מִכְּלֵי שָׁרֵת. וְאִם שָׁחַט בְּכָל דָּבָר שֶׁשּׁוֹחֲטִין בּוֹ הַחֻלִּין אֲפִלּוּ בִּקְרוּמִית שֶׁל קָנֶה כְּשֵׁרִין:

8

Whenever one received less than the amount of blood need to sprinkle it on the altar27 from any of the sacrifices, the blood does not become consecrated. [As an initial preference,] one should have the intent of receiving all the [animal's] blood.

What should be done? One should hold the windpipe and the gullet28 in his hand, and together with the jugular vein, place them inside a basin29 and slit both of them - or their majority30 - so that all of the blood will be received in the basin. [After the slaughter,] the knife should be lifted up, so that the blood does not flow down along it, but rather from the neck. He should wipe off the blood that is on the knife on the [outer] edge of the basin.31

ח

וְכָל הַזְּבָחִים שֶׁקִּבֵּל מִדָּמָם פָּחוֹת מִכְּדֵי הַזָּיָה לֹא נִתְקַדֵּשׁ הַדָּם. וְצָרִיךְ לְהִתְכַּוֵּן לְקַבֵּל כָּל הַדָּם. כֵּיצַד הוּא עוֹשֶׂה. אוֹחֵז הַסִּימָנִים בְּיָדוֹ וּמוֹצִיאָן עִם הַוְּרִידִין לְתוֹךְ הַמִּזְרָק. וְשׁוֹחֵט שְׁנַיִם אוֹ רֹב שְׁנַיִם כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתְקַבֵּל הַדָּם כֻּלּוֹ בִּכְלִי. וּמַגְבִּיהַּ הַסַּכִּין לְמַעְלָה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֵרֵד הַדָּם מֵעָלֶיהָ אֶלָּא מִן הַצַּוָּאר. וְדָם שֶׁבַּסַּכִּין מְקַנְּחוֹ בִּשְׂפַת הַמִּזְרָק:

9

The space above the basin is considered as if it is inside the basin.32 If one was receiving the blood [of a sacrificial animal] and the bottom of the basin opened before the blood reached the open space of the bottomless basin, the blood is not consecrated. [The rationale is that when the blood enters] space in which it will ultimately not come to rest, it is not considered as if it came to rest.33

ט

אֲוִיר הַכְּלִי הֲרֵי הוּא כִּכְלִי. הָיָה מְקַבֵּל הַדָּם וְנִפְחֲתוּ שׁוּלֵי הַמִּזְרָק קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ הַדָּם לַאֲוִיר הַמִּזְרָק הַנִּפְחָת לֹא נִתְקַדֵּשׁ הַדָּם. שֶׁהָאֲוִיר שֶׁאֵין סוֹפוֹ לָנוּחַ אֵינוֹ כְּמֻנָּח:

10

With regard to all of the sacrifices, the person performing the service34must have the intent of offering the proper type of sacrifice for the sake of the person bringing it at the time of slaughter, at the time the blood is received, at the time it is brought to the altar, and at the time that it is dashed on the altar,35 as [indicated by Leviticus 7:15]: "And the meat of his thanksgiving, peace-offering." [Implied is that] the slaughter together with the [three other] services must be for the sake of his peace-offering.36 Similar concepts apply with regard to other sacrifices.

If one slaughtered [an animal] and performed [these] other services without any intent, without thinking at all,37 this is acceptable for a burnt-offering and a peace-offering and the owner is considered to have fulfilled his obligation.38

י

כָּל הַזְּבָחִים צָרִיךְ הָעוֹבֵד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה מַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ לְשֵׁם הַזֶּבַח וּלְשֵׁם בְּעָלָיו בִּשְׁעַת זְבִיחָה וּבִשְׁעַת קַבָּלַת הַדָּם וּבִשְׁעַת הוֹלָכַת הַדָּם וּבִשְׁעַת זְרִיקָתוֹ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז טו) "וּבְשַׂר זֶבַח תּוֹדַת שְׁלָמָיו" שֶׁתִּהְיֶה זְבִיחָה עִם שְׁאָר אַרְבַּע הָעֲבוֹדוֹת לְשֵׁם שְׁלָמָיו. וְכֵן שְׁאָר הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת. וְאִם שָׁחַט וְעָבַד שְׁאָר עֲבוֹדוֹת סְתָם וְלֹא חָשַׁב כְּלָל בְּעוֹלָה וּבִשְׁלָמִים הֲרֵי הֵן כְּשֵׁרִים וְעָלוּ לַבְּעָלִים:

11

At the time of the slaughter of [an animal designated as] a burnt-offering,39[the person offering it] must have six things in mind, [that the animal be slaughtered]: for the sake of the [desired] sacrifice,40 for the sake of the person bringing it,41 that it be sacrificed unto God, blessed be He, that it be consumed by fire,42 that its consumption by fire be for the sake of generating a [pleasing] fragrance,43 and that the fragrance be pleasing before God. If he slaughtered [the animal] without any intent, it is acceptable, as explained.44

One who slaughters [an animal as] a sin-offering or a guilt-offering should have the intent that [the sacrifice atone] for the sin which he committed.45

יא

וְצָרִיךְ שֶׁתִּהְיֶה מַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ בִּשְׁעַת שְׁחִיטַת הָעוֹלָה לְשֵׁם שִׁשָּׁה דְּבָרִים. לְשֵׁם הַזֶּבַח. וּלְשֵׁם הַזּוֹבֵחַ. וְשֶׁהַזֶּבַח לְהַשֵּׁם בָּרוּךְ הוּא. וְשֶׁיַּקְטִירוֹ לָאִשִּׁים. וְשֶׁהַקְטָרָתוֹ לְרֵיחַ בִּלְבַד. וְשֶׁרֵיחַ זֶה נַחַת רוּחַ לִפְנֵי הַשֵּׁם. וְאִם שָׁחַט סְתָם כָּשֵׁר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְהַשּׁוֹחֵט חַטָּאת וְאָשָׁם צָרִיךְ שֶׁתִּהְיֶה מַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ לְשֵׁם אוֹתוֹ הַחֵטְא שֶׁבָּא עָלָיו:

Footnotes
1.

In this chapter, the Rambam lists the time limits associated with bringing the sacrifices and describes the intent with which the sacrifices must be offered.

2.

I.e., its blood should be sprinkled on the altar.

3.

As is the entire sacrifice (Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 1:37).

4.

I.e., the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled on the altar (Radbaz).

5.

The fats and inner organs of the animal that are offered on the altar.

6.

The appearance of the first glimmerings of the light of the sun on the horizon more than an hour before sunrise.

7.

As Leviticus 6:2 speaks of "the burnt-offering... on the altar, the entire night until the morning."

8.

I.e., "lest time become pressing and they would not be offered until the following day" [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Berachot 1:3)]. Rashi (at the beginning of his commentary to Berachot) and other authorities differ and maintain that such a safeguard was not instituted.

9.

When there would be no prohibition involved in offering them.

10.

For example, the meal-offerings brought by the priests. See Chapter 12.

11.

Provided certain conditions are met, these may be offered on the altar even after the afternoon daily sacrifice has been offered. See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 1:6 and notes.

12.

As accompanying offerings. See Chapter 2, Halachah 1.

13.

They need not be offered on the day the sacrifice is offered, but they must be offered during the day.

14.

Since they were not associated with a particular sacrifice, there are no limits as to when they may be offered.

15.

Our translation follows the gloss of the Radbaz who maintains that it is preferable for him to offer them at night, for the libations should be consecrated and offered at the earliest possible opportunity. Hence, if it is possible for him to do so by day, he should do so by day. If that option becomes available at night, he should not wait for the next day.

16.

This is acceptable even as an initial preference.

17.

I.e., one might think that since they were sanctified at night, they would not be disqualified until the end of the next day. Hence, it is necessary to state that this is not so.

18.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 6.

19.

See Chapter 12, Halachah 6.

20.

See, for example, Chapter 9, Halachah 7.

21.

See Chapter 13, Halachot 12-13.

22.

The word "day" is mentioned in either the verse commanding the ritual acts mentioned or in a verse associated with them. Our Sages inferred that these ritual acts could only be performed during the day (see Megilah 20b).

23.

I.e., according to Scriptural Law. See Halachot 2-3 above.

24.

I.e., one should endeavor to perform them at the earliest possible opportunity.

25.

See Hilchot Shechitah 1:14 and notes.

26.

The Radbaz explains that the rationale is that slaughter is not considered part of the sacrificial service, as evidenced by the fact that it may be performed by a non-priest.

27.

The laws governing the sprinkling of the blood are described in the following chapter.

28.

The Rambam refers to these with the term siman, "signs," for they are the organs which, when slit in the desired manner, indicate that ritual slaughter is acceptable.

29.

The Rambam is quoting Zevachim 25a-b. As indicated by the conclusion of the halachah, it appears that the intent is not that the animal's neck should be held inside the sacred basin - for then, it would be difficult to perform the slaughter - but rather, above it (see Radbaz).

30.

In Hilchot Shechitah 1:9, the Rambam states: "Superior slaughter involves cutting both [the windpipe and the gullet], whether for an animal or a fowl, and a slaughterer should have this intent. [After the fact,] if one cut the majority of one of them for a fowl and the majority of both of them for an animal or a beast, the slaughter is acceptable."

31.

So that the blood will not flow into the basin (Radbaz, Kessef Mishneh).

32.

Our division of the halachot is based on the authentic manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah. The standard published text has a slightly different version.

33.

The question is whether the blood is considered as if it came to rest in the basin and then spilled out (in which instance, it would be acceptable to be gathered from the floor) or whether it spilled directly on the floor and was hence, disqualified (Rashi, Zevachim 25b). The Rambam is stating that since the blood is not going to come to rest in the bottomless basin, it is not considered as if it was spilled out and is therefore not consecrated.

Note the Radbaz who maintains that even if the utensil has a hole in it, if the blood is able to be collected, it is acceptable.

34.

His intent is significant and not the intent of the person who donated the sacrifice [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 4:6); Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 14:1].

35.

Although there are many activities connected with a sacrifice being offered, these four activities are considered the ones that are significant with regard to whether or not the sacrifice is disqualified.

36.

The process of Biblical exegesis through which these concepts are derived is explained in Zevachim 4a-b.

37.

If, however, they were sacrificed with a different intent, the sacrifice is acceptable, but the person is not considered to have fulfilled his obligation (Zevachim 2a).

38.

From the Rambam's words, it appears that this is not true with regard to a sin-offering or a guilt-offering or the Paschal sacrifice. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh note that from Zevachim 46b, it would appear that even those sacrifices are acceptable as long as one does not have a wrong intent. It is only when one has a wrong intent that they are disqualified. The Radbaz maintains that even though those sacrifices are not disqualified, the person bringing them is not considered to have fulfilled his obligation. The Kessef Mishneh does not accept this explanation and leaves his question of the Rambam's ruling unresolved.

39.

The commentaries discuss whether these concepts apply with regard to the peace offerings as well. From the Rambam's words, it would appear that the general intent applies to the peace-offerings, some of the particulars the Rambam mentions obviously do not.

40.

I.e., he must know the type of offering for which he is slaughtering an animal (Rashi, Zevachim 46b).

41.

I.e., and not for someone else (ibid.).

42.

Rather than roasted for human consumption (ibid.).

43.

That they be burnt on the altar and not elsewhere and then brought to the altar (ibid.).

44.

In the previous halachah.

45.

See Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 15:6.

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 5

1

We have already explained1 that the slaughter of consecrated animals is acceptable even when performed by non-priests.2 From the receiving of the blood and onward, the mitzvah is that of the priests.3 The blood of all the sacrifices must be received in a sacred utensil4 held by a priest's hand.5 Nevertheless, the place where they are slaughtered and their blood is received is not the same in all instances.

א

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁשְּׁחִיטַת הַקָּדָשִׁים כְּשֵׁרָה בְּזָרִים וּמִקַּבָּלַת הַדָּם וְאֵילָךְ מִצְוַת כְּהֻנָּה וְכָל הַזְּבָחִים קִבּוּל דָּמָן בִּכְלִי שָׁרֵת בְּיַד כֹּהֵן. אֲבָל מְקוֹם שְׁחִיטָתָן וּמְקוֹם קִבּוּל דָּמָן אֵינוֹ שָׁוֶה בְּכֻלָּן:

2

What is implied? Sacrifices of the most sacred order may be slaughtered and their blood may be received6 in the any portion of [the area designated as] north of the altar whose boundaries we defined in the beginning of this book.7 Sacrifices of lesser sanctity may be slaughtered and their blood received in every place in the Temple Courtyard.

ב

כֵּיצַד. קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין אוֹתָן וְאֵין מְקַבְּלִין אֶת דָּמָן אֶלָּא בִּצְפוֹן הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בְּכָל הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ גְּבוּלוֹתָיו בִּתְחִלַּת סֵפֶר זֶה. וְקָדָשִׁים קַלִּים שְׁחִיטָתָן וְקִבּוּל דָּמָן בְּכָל מָקוֹם מִן הָעֲזָרָה:

3

What is the source that teaches the sacrifices of the most holy order may be slaughtered only in the northern portion of the Temple Courtyard. With regard to a burnt-offering, [Leviticus 1:11] states: "And it shall be slaughtered on the northern flank of the altar." And with regard to the sin-offering, [ibid. 6:18] states: "In the place where the burnt-offering is slaughtered, you shall slaughter the sin-offering." And just as a sin-offering is called a sacrifice of the most sacred order,8 so too, the burnt-offering is called, a sacrifice of the most sacred order.9 With regard to the guilt-offering, [ibid. 7:2] states: "In the place where the burnt-offering is slaughtered, you shall slaughter the guilt-offering." And an association was established between communal peace-offerings10 and sin-offerings, as [ibid. 23:19] states: "You shall offer one he-goat as a sin-offering and two sheep a year old as a peace-offering." Therefore, they are considered sacrifices of the most sacred order like a sin-offering and are slaughtered in the place where it is slaughtered.11 In the place where [these sacrificial animals] are slaughtered, their blood should be received.

ג

וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁאֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים אֶלָּא בַּצָּפוֹן. שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בְּעוֹלָה (ויקרא א יא) "וְשָׁחַט אֹתוֹ עַל יֶרֶךְ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ צָפֹנָה" וּבְחַטָּאת הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא ו יח) "בִּמְקוֹם אֲשֶׁר תִּשָּׁחֵט הָעלָה תִּשָּׁחֵט הַחַטָּאת". וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁהַחַטָּאת נִקְרֵאת קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים כָּךְ הָעוֹלָה נִקְרֵאת קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים. וּבְאָשָׁם הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא ז ב) "בִּמְקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁחֲטוּ אֶת הָעלָה יִשְׁחֲטוּ אֶת הָאָשָׁם". וְשַׁלְמֵי צִבּוּר הֻקְּשׁוּ לְחַטָּאת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג יט) "וַעֲשִׂיתֶם שְׂעִיר עִזִּים אֶחָד לְחַטָּאת וּשְׁנֵי כְבָשִׂים בְּנֵי שָׁנָה לְזֶבַח שְׁלָמִים" לְפִיכָךְ הֵן קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים כְּחַטָּאת וְנִשְׁחָטִין בִּמְקוֹם שְׁחִיטָתָהּ. וּמְקוֹם שְׁחִיטָה הוּא מְקוֹם הַקַּבָּלָה:

4

What is the source that teaches that sacrifices of lesser sanctity may be slaughtered in any place in the Temple Courtyard, even behind the Temple building?12With regard to the peace-offerings, [Leviticus] 3:2] states: "And you shall slaughter it at the opening to the Tent of Meeting," this indicates that all directions are acceptable,13 for a particular direction was not specified. The same applies to other sacrifices of lesser sanctity. If they were slaughtered in the Temple building itself, they are acceptable.14 If, however, they slaughtered them on the roof of the Temple building,15 they are not acceptable, for the roofs are not fit for ritual slaughter at all. It must be performed on the earth of the Temple Courtyard.

ד

וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁשּׁוֹחֲטִים קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים בְּכָל הָעֲזָרָה אֲפִלּוּ אֲחוֹרֵי הַהֵיכָל. שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בִּשְׁלָמִים (ויקרא ג ב) "וּשְׁחָטוֹ פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד" לְהַכְשִׁיר כָּל הָרוּחוֹת שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא יִחֵד לָהֶם רוּחַ. וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר הַקָּדָשִׁים קַלִּים. וְאִם שְׁחָטָם בַּהֵיכָל כְּשֵׁרִים. אֲבָל אִם שְׁחָטָן בְּגַגּוֹ שֶׁל הֵיכָל פְּסוּלִין שֶׁאֵין הַגַּגּוֹת רְאוּיוֹת לִשְׁחִיטָה כְּלָל אֶלָּא בְּקַרְקַע הָעֲזָרָה:

5

Peace offerings16 that were slaughtered before the gates to the Temple building were opened are unacceptable,17 as [indicated by the prooftext,] "at the opening to the Tent of Meeting," i.e., when it is open. Even if the doors were closed, [but not locked,] they are considered as locked. However, the curtain that is over [the entrance]18 does not disqualify [the offering].

ה

שְׁלָמִים שֶׁשְּׁחָטָן קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּפָּתְחוּ דַּלְתוֹת הַהֵיכָל פְּסוּלִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ג ב) "פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד" בִּזְמַן שֶׁפָּתוּחַ. אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ דַּלְתוֹתָיו מֻגָּפוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה כְּנָעוּל. אֲבָל הַפָּרֹכֶת שֶׁעָלָיו אֵינָהּ פּוֹסֶלֶת:

6

The manner in which the blood of a burnt-offering, a guilt-offering, and a peace offering, whether communal or individual, is cast on the altar is the same for all three types of sacrifices at all times.

What does [the priest] do? The priest takes the blood which is in a receptacle and casts it from the receptacle19 twice, [once] on each of two of the corners of the altar on a diagonal, on the bottom half of the altar.20 [The corners were] the northeast and the southwest.21 When casting the blood on the corners, he should have the intent that the blood will surround the corners like a gamma.22 In this way, the blood from these two castings will be found on the four walls of the altar.23 For with regard to the burnt-offering and the peace-offering, [the Torah] uses24 the term "surrounding."25 This also applies to the guilt offering.26 The remainder of the blood is poured on the foundation on the southern side of the altar.

ו

הָעוֹלָה וְהָאָשָׁם וְהַשְּׁלָמִים בֵּין שֶׁל יָחִיד בֵּין שֶׁל צִבּוּר זְרִיקַת דַּם שְׁלָשְׁתָּן עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ שָׁוָה לְעוֹלָה. וְכֵיצַד הוּא עוֹשֶׂה. כְּשֶׁלּוֹקֵחַ הַכֹּהֵן הַדָּם בַּמִּזְרָק וְזוֹרֵק מִמֶּנּוּ בַּמִּזְרָק שְׁתֵּי זְרִיקוֹת עַל שְׁתֵּי זָוִיּוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בַּאֲלַכְסוֹן מֵחֲצִי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּלְמַטָּה עַל קֶרֶן מִזְרָחִית צְפוֹנִית וְעַל קֶרֶן מַעֲרָבִית דְּרוֹמִית. וּמִתְכַּוֵּן כְּשֶׁיִּזָּרֵק הַדָּם עַל הַקֶּרֶן שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַדָּם מַקִּיף עַל הַזָּוִיּוֹת כְּמִין גַּ''ם. כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּמָּצֵא הַדָּם שֶׁל שְׁתֵּי מַתָּנוֹת עַל אַרְבָּעָה כָּתְלֵי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּעוֹלָה וּבִשְׁלָמִים (ויקרא ז ב) (ויקרא ט יח) "סָבִיב" וְהוּא הַדִּין לְאָשָׁם. וּשְׁיָרֵי הַדָּם נִשְׁפָּכִין עַל הַיְסוֹד הַדְּרוֹמִי:

7

The sin offerings from which [the priests] partake require four presentations [of blood], [one] on each of the four corners of the outer altar, on its upper half,27 for concerning it, [Leviticus 4:25] states: "On the corners of the altar.28

What should [the priest] do? When the priest takes the blood in the receptacle, he carries it to the altar. He dips the index finger of his right hand29 into the blood. He then places his thumb [on one side of the altar] and his middle finger [on the other side] and applies30 [the blood] on the point of the corner of the altar, descending until he finishes [bestowing] all the blood on his finger. He does this on each corner. If he placed the blood near the corner, within a cubit on either side, he achieves atonement [for the owner of the sacrifice].31

ז

הַחַטָּאוֹת הַנֶּאֱכָלוֹת דָּמָן טָעוּן אַרְבַּע מַתָּנוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ הַחִיצוֹן מֵחֲצִי מִזְבֵּחַ וּלְמַעְלָה לְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בָּהּ (ויקרא ד כה) (ויקרא ד לד) "עַל קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ". וְכֵיצַד הוּא עוֹשֶׂה. כְּשֶׁלּוֹקֵחַ הַכֹּהֵן הַדָּם בַּמִּזְרָק מוֹלִיכוֹ אֵצֶל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְטוֹבֵל אֶצְבָּעוֹ הַיְמָנִית הַסְּמוּכָה לַגּוּדָל בְּדָם. וְסוֹמֵךְ בְּאֶצְבָּעוֹ הַגְּדוֹלָה מִכָּאן וּבַגּוּדָל מִכָּאן וּמְחַטֵּא וְיוֹרֵד כְּנֶגֶד חֻדָּהּ שֶׁל קֶרֶן עַד שֶׁיִּכְלֶה כָּל הַדָּם שֶׁבְּאֶצְבָּעוֹ. וְכֵן הוּא עוֹשֶׂה בְּכָל קֶרֶן וְקֶרֶן. וְאִם נָתַן סָמוּךְ לַקֶּרֶן כְּאַמָּה אַחַת מִכָּאן אוֹ מִכָּאן כִּפֵּר:

8

He must dip his finger [in the blood] before applying it to each corner. When he finishes applying it to the corner, he should clean his finger on the [outer] edge of the container.32 He then dips it in a second time, for the blood on his finger is unacceptable to place on another corner.

ח

וְצָרִיךְ לִטְבּל אֶצְבָּעוֹ עַל כָּל קֶרֶן וְקֶרֶן. וּכְשֶׁגּוֹמֵר הַנְּתִינָה עַל הַקֶּרֶן מְקַנֵּחַ אֶצְבָּעוֹ בִּשְׂפַת הַמִּזְרָק. וְאַחַר כָּךְ טוֹבֵל פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה. שֶׁשְּׁיָרֵי הַדָּם שֶׁבְּאֶצְבָּעוֹ פְּסוּלִין לִתֵּן מֵהֶן עַל קֶרֶן אַחֶרֶת:

9

None of the other sacrifices require the application of the blood on the altar with one's finger aside from the sin-offering,33 for with regard to it [Leviticus 4:6] states: "And he shall dip his finger into the blood." There must be enough blood so that he can dip his finger into it. He should not collect the blood with his finger.

ט

אֵין בְּכָל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת קָרְבָּן שֶׁטָּעוּן הַזָּיַת דָּם בְּאֶצְבָּעוֹ אֶלָּא חַטָּאת בִּלְבַד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בָּהּ (ויקרא ט ט) "וְטָבַל אֶצְבָּעוֹ בַּדָּם". וְצָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שָׁם דָּם כְּדֵי טְבִילָה לֹא שֶׁיִּסָּפֵג אֶצְבָּעוֹ מִדָּם:

10

From [which] corner should he begin? He should ascend on the ramp and turn to his right, walking on the surrounding ledge. He should apply the blood to the southeast corner first and then to the second corner that is close to it, the northeast corner.34 Afterwards, he should proceed to the third corner, [the one] next to it, the northwest corner, and afterwards, to the fourth corner next to it, which is the southwest. On the base of the altar at the corner which he completed the applications of the blood, he pours out the remaining blood,35 as [Leviticus 4:17] states: "And all of the [remaining] blood he should pour on the base of the altar of the burnt-offerings."36 This refers to the base on the southern side [of the altar].

י

וּמִנַּיִן הוּא מַתְחִיל. עוֹלֶה בַּכֶּבֶשׁ וּפוֹנֶה לִימִינוֹ וּמְהַלֵּךְ עַל הַסּוֹבֵב וְנוֹתֵן בְּקֶרֶן דְּרוֹמִית מִזְרָחִית תְּחִלָּה. וְאַחַר כָּךְ בַּקֶּרֶן הַשְּׁנִיָּה הַסְּמוּכָה לָהּ שֶׁהִיא מִזְרָחִית צְפוֹנִית. וְאַחַר כָּךְ בְּקֶרֶן שְׁלִישִׁית הַסְּמוּכָה לָהּ שֶׁהִיא צְפוֹנִית מַעֲרָבִית. וְאַחַר כָּךְ בְּקֶרֶן רְבִיעִית הַסְּמוּכָה לָהּ שֶׁהִיא מַעֲרָבִית דְּרוֹמִית. וְעַל יְסוֹד אוֹתָהּ הַקֶּרֶן שֶׁהִשְׁלִים בָּהּ הַמַּתָּנוֹת הוּא שׁוֹפֵךְ שְׁיָרֵי הַדָּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ד יח) "וְאֵת כָּל הַדָּם יִשְׁפֹּךְ אֶל יְסוֹד מִזְבַּח" (הָעלָה) זֶה יְסוֹד דְּרוֹמִי:

11

The blood of all of the sin-offerings that are burnt37 is taken in the Temple building, and it is sprinkled there as described in the Torah.38 The remainder of the blood should be poured on the western base of the outer altar, [the one] that he encounters first when he leaves the Temple building.

יא

כָּל הַחַטָּאוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת דָּמָם נִכְנָס לְפָנִים לַהֵיכָל וּמַזִּין מִמֶּנּוּ שָׁם כַּאֲשֶׁר מְפֹרָשׁ בַּתּוֹרָה. וּשְׁיָרֵי הַדָּם שׁוֹפְכָן עַל יְסוֹד הַמַּעֲרָבִי שֶׁל מִזְבֵּחַ הַחִיצוֹן שֶׁהוּא פּוֹגֵעַ בּוֹ תְּחִלָּה בְּצֵאתוֹ מִן הַהֵיכָל:

12

How is their blood sprinkled and how many sprinklings are made? The blood of both the bull39 and the goat40 offered on Yom Kippur require eight sprinklings between the staves [of the ark] and eight sprinklings on the curtain [before the Holy of Holies]. He then mixes together the blood of the bull and that of the goat and sprinkle four times, one on each of the four corners of the golden altar in the Temple building and seven sprinklings on the center of this altar, as will be explained in Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim.41 [Even] if he did not carefully direct the sprinklings42 performed in the innermost [chamber], they are acceptable.

יב

וְהֵיכָן מַזִּין מִדָּמָן. וְכַמָּה מַזֶּה מֵהֶם. פַּר וְשָׂעִיר שֶׁל יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים דַּם כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן טָעוּן שְׁמוֹנֶה הַזָּיוֹת עַל בֵּין הַבַּדִּים וּשְׁמוֹנֶה עַל הַפָּרֹכֶת. וּמְעָרֵב דַּם הַפָּר וְהַשָּׂעִיר וּמַזֶּה מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם אַרְבַּע הַזָּאוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע קַרְנוֹת מִזְבַּח הַזָּהָב שֶׁבַּהֵיכָל. וְשֶׁבַע הַזָּיוֹת עַל אֶמְצָעוֹ שֶׁל מִזְבֵּחַ זֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת עֲבוֹדַת יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים. וְאִם לֹא כִּוֵּן בַּהַזָּיוֹת שֶׁבִּפְנִים כְּשֵׁרוֹת:

13

The blood of the bulls that are burnt43 and the goats that are burnt44 should both be cast [in the following manner]. They should be sprinkled seven times on the curtain that separates between the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies and four times on the four corners of the golden altar.45

יג

פָּרִים הַנִּשְׂרָפִין וּשְׂעִירִים הַנִּשְׂרָפִין זוֹרֵק דָּם מִכָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶם שֶׁבַע הַזָּיוֹת עַל הַפָּרֹכֶת הַמַּבְדֶּלֶת בֵּין הַקֹּדֶשׁ וּבֵין קֹדֶשׁ הַקָּדָשִׁים. וְאַרְבַּע הַזָּיוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע קַרְנוֹת מִזְבַּח הַזָּהָב:

14

With regard to the blood placed on the golden altar: When he enters [the Sanctuary],46 he stands between the altar and the Menorah47 with the altar in front of him. He should [sprinkle the blood] on the outer side of the horns of the altar. He should begin with the northeast corner and [proceed] to the northwest and then to the southwest and then to the southeast.

יד

וְכָל הַדָּמִים הַנִּתָּנִין עַל מִזְבַּח הַזָּהָב כְּשֶׁהוּא נִכְנָס עוֹמֵד בֵּין הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לַמְּנוֹרָה וְהַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְפָנָיו. וְנוֹתֵן עַל קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ מִבַּחוּץ. מַתְחִיל מִקֶּרֶן מִזְרָחִית צְפוֹנִית לִצְפוֹנִית מַעֲרָבִית לְמַעֲרָבִית דְּרוֹמִית לִדְרוֹמִית מִזְרָחִית:

15

With regard to the bull brought by the anointed priest48 for the violation of any of the mitzvot, the anointed priest himself receives its blood and sprinkles it in the Sanctuary.49 If an ordinary priest received this blood and sprinkled it, it is acceptable.

טו

פַּר כֹּהֵן מָשִׁיחַ הַבָּא עַל כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת כֹּהֵן הַמָּשִׁיחַ עַצְמוֹ מְקַבֵּל דָּמוֹ וּמַזֶּה מִמֶּנּוּ מִבִּפְנִים וְאִם קִבֵּל וְהִזָּה כֹּהֵן הֶדְיוֹט כָּשֵׁר:

16

The goats [offered in atonement for] idol worship are called the goats which are burnt. The Torah does not explicitly state how their blood was sprinkled [on the altar]. Nevertheless, since they are communal sin offerings, the laws applying to them should be the same in their particulars as those applying to the bull brought because of a forgotten law, for it is also a communal sin-offering. [This applies to] the sprinkling of the blood, burning [the sacrifices], and the impurity they impart to the one who has them burnt.

טז

שְׂעִירֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וְהֵן שְׂעִירִין הַנִּשְׂרָפִין לֹא נִתְפָּרֵשׁ בָּהֶן בַּתּוֹרָה כֵּיצַד נוֹתֵן דָּמָן וּלְהֵיכָן הוּא נוֹתֵן. אֶלָּא לְפִי שֶׁהֵן חַטַּאת הַקָּהָל דִּינָן כְּדִין פַּר הֶעְלֵם שֶׁהוּא חַטַּאת הַקָּהָל לְכָל הָאָמוּר בּוֹ לְמַתַּן דָּמִים וְלִשְׂרֵפָה וּלְטַמֵּא אֶת הַשּׂוֹרֵף:

17

The blood of each [of the following], the firstborn offering, the tithe offering, and the Paschal sacrifice is required to be presented to the altar through one pouring at its base, in any direction one desires on the three corners of the altar that have a base. For, as we explained,50 the southeastern corner did not have a base.

What is the source that teaches that all that is required is one present? For with regard to the first born sacrifice, [Numbers 18:17] states: "You shall cast its blood on the altar." According to the Oral Tradition, we learned that this also applies to the tithe offering and the Paschal sacrifice. Their blood is presented once like that of the firstborn offering.

יז

הַבְּכוֹר וְהַמַּעֲשֵׂר וְהַפֶּסַח דַּם כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן טָעוּן מַתָּנָה אַחַת בִּשְׁפִיכָה כְּנֶגֶד הַיְסוֹד בְּאֵי זוֹ רוּחַ שֶׁיִּרְצֶה מִשְּׁלֹשׁ זָוִיּוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. שֶׁהֲרֵי קֶרֶן מִזְרָחִית דְּרוֹמִית לֹא הָיָה לָהּ יְסוֹד כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁאֵינָן טְעוּנִין אֶלָּא מַתָּנָה אַחַת שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בִּבְכוֹר (במדבר יח יז) "וְאֶת דָּמָם תִּזְרֹק עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ" מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁהוּא הַדִּין בְּמַעֲשֵׂר וּבְפֶסַח שֶׁנּוֹתֵן דָּמָן מַתָּנָה אַחַת כִּבְכוֹר:

18

The eimorim51 of all the sacrifices are the first [elements of the sacrifice] offered on the pyre of the altar after the blood is cast [on the altar].52 All of the sacrificial [animals] are skinned and then the eimorim are removed. They are not skinned until the blood is cast. [This applies] with the exception of the sin-offerings, for they are not skinned at all,53 as [Leviticus 16:27] states: "You shall burn with fire their hide and their flesh." Thus, [the order of sacrifice is] first the blood is cast [on the altar].54 Then the sacrificial [animals] are skinned and then their [bellies] are ripped open, the eimorim are removed and offered [on the pyre of the altar].

יח

כָּל הַזְּבָחִים מַקְטִירִין אֵימוּרֵיהֶן עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אַחַר שֶׁזּוֹרְקִין הַדָּם תְּחִלָּה. וְכָל הַזְּבָחִים מַפְשִׁיטִין אוֹתָן וְאַחַר כָּךְ מוֹצִיאִין אֶת אֵימוּרֵיהֶן. וְאֵין מַפְשִׁיטִין אוֹתָן עַד שֶׁיִּזָּרֵק הַדָּם. חוּץ מֵחֲטָאוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת שֶׁאֵין מַפְשִׁיטִין אוֹתָם כְּלָל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טז כז) "אֶת עוֹרָם וְאֶת בְּשָׂרָם". נִמְצֵאתָ אוֹמֵר זוֹרֵק תְּחִלָּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַפְשִׁיט וְקוֹרֵעַ וּמוֹצִיא הָאֵימוּרִין וּמַקְטִיר:

19

All of the hides of the sacrifices of the most sacred order - whether communal offerings or individual offerings - are given to the priests, as [Leviticus 7:8] states: "The hide of the burnt-offering55 he offered [shall belong to that priest]." The hides of sacrifices of lesser sanctity, by contrast, are given to the owners. Whenever the flesh of a burnt-offering did not merit to be offered on the altar,56 the priests do not acquire its hide, as [implied by the above verse which] states: "the burnt-offering of a man." [We can infer that it refers only to] a burnt-offering that was acceptable for a man.

יט

כָּל עוֹרוֹת קָדְשֵׁי הַקָּדָשִׁים לַכֹּהֲנִים בֵּין בְּקָרְבְּנוֹת צִבּוּר בֵּין בְּקָרְבְּנוֹת יָחִיד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז ח) "עוֹר הָעלָה אֲשֶׁר הִקְרִיב". אֲבָל עוֹרוֹת קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים לַבְּעָלִים. וְכָל עוֹלָה שֶׁלֹּא זָכָה הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בִּבְשָׂרָהּ לֹא זָכוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּעוֹרָהּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז ח) "עלַת אִישׁ" עוֹלָה שֶׁעָלְתָה לְאִישׁ:

20

In all instances that a disqualifying factor was caused in one of the sacrifices of the most sacred order before they were skinned, their hides are not granted to the priests.57 [If they are disqualified] after they are skinned, their hides are granted to the priests. All of the hides should be divided among the members of the priestly watch from Friday to Friday.58

כ

כָּל קָדְשֵׁי הַקָּדָשִׁים שֶׁאֵרַע בָּהֶן פִּסּוּל קֹדֶם הֶפְשֵׁטָן אֵין עוֹרוֹתֵיהֶן לַכֹּהֲנִים. לְאַחַר הֶפְשֵׁטָן עוֹרָן לַכֹּהֲנִים. וְכָל הָעוֹרוֹת מְחַלְּקִין אוֹתָן אַנְשֵׁי מִשְׁמָר בֵּינֵיהֶן מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת לְעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת:

21

When a person consecrates a burnt-offering to the Temple treasury59 or one consecrates his property [to the Temple treasury] and among [his possessions] were male animals concerning which the law is that they should be sacrificed as burnt-offerings,60 the hides are not given to the priests, for [the prooftext] states: "the burnt-offering of a man." This excludes the burnt-offering of the Temple treasury. Instead, the hides should be sold and the money given to the Temple treasury.

The hide of a burnt-offering brought by] a man or a woman, a gentile61 or a servant, is given to the priests. The term "man" was used only to exclude the Temple treasury.

כא

הַמַּתְפִּיס עוֹלָתוֹ לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת. וְכֵן הַמַּקְדִּישׁ נְכָסָיו וְהָיוּ בָּהֶן זְכָרִים שֶׁדִּינָן שֶׁיִּקָּרְבוּ עוֹלוֹת אֵין עוֹרוֹתֵיהֶן לַכֹּהֲנִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר עלַת אִישׁ פְּרָט לְעוֹלַת הֶקְדֵּשׁ. אֶלָּא יִמָּכְרוּ הָעוֹרוֹת וְיִפְּלוּ לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת. אֶחָד (ויקרא ז ח) "עוֹלַת אִישׁ" אוֹ אִשָּׁה אוֹ עַכּוּ''ם אוֹ עֶבֶד עוֹרוֹתֵיהֶן לַכֹּהֲנִים לֹא נֶאֱמַר אִישׁ אֶלָּא לְהוֹצִיא הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ:

Footnotes
1.

See Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 9:6.

In this chapter, the Rambam explains the place where sacrifices are offered and the manner in which the blood and fats from the sacrifices is presented to God.

2.

Indeed, a non-priest may slaughter a sacrificial animal as an initial preference (Radbaz).

3.

Leviticus 1:5 states: "The sons of Aaron will offer it." Implied is that all the acts involved in offering the animal should be performed by the priests (Zevachim 32a).

4.

Zevachim 97b notes that Exodus 24:5-6 speaks of the blood of peace-offerings being received in sacred vessels. Now if this is a requirement for peace-offerings which are sacrifices of lesser sanctity, it certainly holds true for sacrifices of the most sacred order.

5.

I.e., the receptacle may not be resting on the ground (Radbaz).

6.

Since, as implied by Chapter 4, Halachah 8, one must receive the blood immediately after slaughter, this is seemingly obvious. It could be explained that the Rambam is implying that even after the fact, receiving the blood elsewhere disqualifies the sacrifice. Moreover, even if he received only part of the blood outside the northern portion of the Temple Courtyard, the sacrifice is disqualified (Radbaz).

7.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:16 states:

[The area] from the northern wall of the Temple Courtyard until the wall of the Altar, was sixty and a half [cubits] wide. The length of this area, from the wall of the Entrance Hall until the eastern wall of the Courtyard, was 76 [cubits].

The rectangle [described above] is called "the northern portion." The sacrifices of the most sacred order were slaughtered there.

The 60 and a half cubit width can be broken down as follows:

the space between the pillars and the northern wall, 8 cubits,

the area of the pillars 12.5 cubits,

the area of the tables, 8 cubits,

the area of the rings, 24 cubits,

the space between the rings and the Altar, 8 cubits. It was also called beit hamitbachayim, the butchering area, because here the large majority of sacrifices were slaughtered and prepared to be offered on the altar.

8.

In the verse cited.

9.

In the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 5:1), he explains that although there is no specific verse referring to a burnt-offering as a sacrifice of the most sacred order, since an equivalence is established between it and a sin-offering and a guilt-offering, we can assume that it is included in that category.

10.

This refers to the sheep offered on Shavuot. Different laws apply to individual peace-offerings, as stated below.

11.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that based on Numbers 10:10, Zevachim 55a establishes an association between communal peace-offerings and burnt-offerings and asks why the Rambam prefers the association with the sin-offerings. Seemingly, deriving the concept from the burnt-offering would be more direct. In resolution, he explains that since the Torah states that the sin-offering should be slaughtered in the same place as the burnt-offering, it is as if it is explicitly stated that the sin-offering should be slaughtered in the north. Hence, the derivation is not indirect.

12.

Zevachim 54b explains that there was a small opening at the rear of the Holy of Holies. Since the area behind the Temple building could see the Holy of Holies, it was considered as if it saw "the entrance to the Tent of Meeting."

13.

In addition to the verse cited, Zevachim 55a states that there is another verse (Leviticus 3:8) which mentions the slaughtering a sacrifice "before the Tent of Meeting." It explains that both verses are necessary, for from the verse cited by the Rambam, one would not know that it is permissible to slaughter an animal in the side portions of the Temple Courtyard. Indeed, the Kessef Mishneh suggests that a printing error crept into the Mishneh Torah and the Rambam indeed desired to cite Leviticus 3:8.

14.

For if seeing the entrance to the Temple Building makes a sacrifice acceptable, certainly, being inside the Temple building itself does (Zevachim 63a).

15.

Needless to say, this applies with regard to the roofs of the chambers in the Temple Courtyard (Radbaz). For the roofs of the structures in the Temple complex were not consecrated (Pesachim 85b).

16.

Tosafot, Yoma 29a, maintains that this also applies to any other sacrificial animals that must be slaughtered. This view is not, however, accepted by all authorities (see the commentaries to Zevachim 61a).

17.

This law also applies if the gates to the Temple were closed during the day, but that generally did not take place (Radbaz).

18.

See Hilchot K'lei HaMikdash 7:17.

19.

I.e., unlike the sin-offering mentioned in Halachah 9, he need not sprinkle it with his hand.

20.

Beneath the scarlet band that was tied around the middle of the Altar. See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 2:9. If he cast the blood above that band, the sacrifice is disqualified.

21.

The priest would cast the blood on the northeast corner and then the southwest in that order (Tamid 4:1), so that when walking, he would be circling the altar to the right (Yoma 15b). These corners were chosen because there was no base on the altar's northwest corner (Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 2:10).

22.

A Greek letter whose shape resembles an upside-down "L."

23.

Hence our Sages (Zevachim 53b, et al) uses the expression: "Two presentations of blood that constitute four."

25.

And in the manner described above, the blood will be cast on all four sides of the altar.

26.

Leviticus 7:2 which describes the guilt offering also uses the term "surrounding." Nevertheless, its wording is slightly different.

27.

If the blood is placed below the midway point of the altar, the sacrifice is disqualified.

28.

Implying that it must be placed on all four corners.

29.

For all service is performed with the right hand. See Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 5:18.

30.

The verb used by the Rambam (and his source, Zevachim 53a) refers to the wording employed by Leviticus 6:19, which means "performs the service of the sin-offering."

31.

I.e., after the fact, the sacrifice is acceptable.

32.

So that it does not become mixed with the blood remaining in the container (Zevachim 93b).

33.

See Halachah 6.

34.

For he is circling to the right, as required (Zevachim 62b).

35.

If he fails to do this, the sacrifice is not disqualified (see Chapter 19, Halachah 4).

36.

The Kessef Mishneh suggests amending the prooftext to Leviticus 30:34 for that verse refers to the sin-offerings brought on the outer altar, while the verse cited by the Rambam refers to the sin-offerings whose blood is sprinkled within the Temple itself.

37.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 16, for a definition of this term.

38.

See the following halachah for an actual description.

39.

The sin-offering of the High Priest and his priestly brethren.

40.

The goat whose pair was sent to Azazel.

41.

Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim 4:2.

42.

The sprinklings had to be directed, one upward and seven downward, as will be explained in Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim. If the High Priest was not careful about directing the sprinklings in this manner, they are still acceptable.

This is the interpretation offered by Rav Yosef Corcus and also suggested as an alternative by the Kessef Mishneh. The Kessef Mishneh, however, also offers another interpretation: that the Hebrew should be translated as "he did not have the intent," i.e., he performed the act without the intent of it being a mitzvah. This can be connected to a question of a much larger scope: Must a person who performs a mitzvah have the intention of doing so or not? From Rosh Hashanah 32b, it would appear that such intention is necessary. However, other Talmudic sources imply that there is no need for such intention. Whenever a person performs the deed of a mitzvah, he fulfills his obligation, regardless of his intention.

On the surface, the Rambam's own decisions regarding this question appear paradoxical. Hilchot Chametz UMatzah 6:3 states: "A person who eats matzah without the intention [of fulfilling the mitzvah]... fulfills his obligation." By contrast, Hilchot Shofar2:4 states that a person who hears the sounding of the shofar from one who blows it casually, without the intent of performing a mitzvah, does not fulfill his obligation. There is extensive debate about this issue among the commentaries. The general consensus is that one must have the intent of performing a mitzvah. The situation involving matzah is unique for various reasons, each authority explaining the rationale for the exception in his own way. See the discussion of the rulings cited for more details.

43.

These include a bull brought by a High Priest as a sin-offering and the bull brought as atonement for a law forgotten by the High Court (Chapter 1, Halachot 15-16).

44.

As atonement for the prohibition against idol worship (ibid.).

45.

This is stated explicitly with regard to the sin-offering brought by the High Priest in Leviticus 4:6-7 and the bull brought because of the error of the High Court (ibid.:17). The sprinkling of the blood of the goats is derived from the laws regarding these offerings as stated in Halachah 16.

46.

With regard to the sprinkling of the blood on Yom Kippur, this refers to the entry of the High Priest from the Holy of Holies. With regard to the other sacrifices, it refers to the entry into the Sanctuary from the Entrance Hall. The commentaries see a difficulty between the Rambam's words here and his statements in Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim 4:2.

47.

The Menorah was on the southern side of the Sanctuary (to the left of the priest as he faces the Holy of Holies).

48.

The High Priest.

49.

As related by Leviticus 4:6, he sprinkles the blood toward the curtain separating the Sanctuary from the Holy of Holies.

50.

Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 2:10.

51.

The fats and the inner organs that are offered on the altar.

52.

This order is explicitly stated in the Torah's description of the manner in which several sacrifices are offered, e.g., Numbers 18:17: "Their blood shall the cast upon the altar and their fats they shall offer on the altar's pyre."

53.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 2.

54.

For otherwise there would be an interruption between receiving the blood and casting it upon the altar (Rashi, Zevachim103b). This, however, is not an absolute requirement. If the animal is skinned first, the sacrifice is not disqualified (Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 19:9).

55.

And from the burnt-offering, we derive that this law applies to other sacrifices of the most sacred order (Zevachim 103a).

56.

I.e., the sacrifice was disqualified before its blood was cast on the altar in which instance, it was never required that its flesh would be offered on the altar.

57.

Instead, they are burnt together with the meat of the sacrifice (Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 19:9).

58.

The Tosefta, Zevachim, ch. 11, states that originally, the hides were divided daily among the members of the clan who served in the Temple that day. Nevertheless, under these circumstances, strong-armed priests would seize the hides from others. Hence, they organized a larger division where seizing the hides in that manner would not be possible.

59.

It is offered on the altar, but it is not considered as his personal sacrifice.

60.

Rambam LeAm notes that there is a difference of opinion concerning this matter in the Mishnah (Shekalim 4:7), one opinion states - as the Rambam states here - that the male animals should be offered as burnt-offerings. Rabbi Eliezer maintains that the males should be sold to others to be offered as burnt-offerings. Significantly, when referring to this law in Hilchot Arachin and in his Commentary to the Mishnah, the Rambam follows Rabbi Eliezer's position.

61.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that the standard published texts for Zevachim 103a speak about a convert rather than a gentile. He favors the Rambam's version of the text, because seemingly there is no reason to separate between a convert and another Jew in this regard.

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 6

1

It is a positive commandment to offer the burnt-offering1 according to its statutes as they are written in the Torah.2 How is the burnt-offering brought? One slaughters [the animal] and casts its blood in the manner described,3 skins it, cuts it into pieces and offers all the pieces on the pyre of the altar, as [Leviticus 1:9] states: "The priest shall offer the entire [sacrifice] on the pyre of the altar."

א

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לַעֲשׂוֹת הָעוֹלָה כְּמִשְׁפָּטָהּ הַכְּתוּבָה בַּתּוֹרָה. וְכֵיצַד מַעֲשֵׂה הָעוֹלָה. שׁוֹחֵט וְזוֹרֵק הַדָּם כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וּמַפְשִׁיט וּמְנַתֵּחַ וּמַקְטִיר כָּל הַנְּתָחִים עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא א ט) "וְהִקְטִיר הַכֹּהֵן אֶת הַכּל הַמִּזְבֵּחָה":

2

The wool on the heads of the sheep, the hair of the beards of the goats, and the bones, sinews, horns, and hoofs of the [sacrificial animals]4 should be offered on the pyre of the altar5 if they are still connected [naturally6 to the animal's body]. If they have been separated, they should not be brought up [to the altar].7 [This is derived from Deuteronomy 12:27 which mentions]: "Your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood."8All parts of the sacrificial animal which flew off9 the altar should not be returned to it. Similarly, a coal which flew off the altar should not be returned to it.

ב

צֶמֶר שֶׁבְּרָאשֵׁי כְּבָשִׂים וְשֵׂעָר שֶׁבִּזְקַן הַתְּיָשִׁים וְהָעֲצָמוֹת וְהַגִּידִים וְהַקַּרְנַיִם וְהַטְּלָפַיִם בִּזְמַן שֶׁהֵן מְחֻבָּרִין מַקְטִירִין אֶת הַכּל. וְאִם פָּרְשׁוּ לֹא יַעֲלוּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יב כז) "עלֹתֶיךָ הַבָּשָׂר וְהַדָּם". וְכֻלָּן שֶׁפָּקְעוּ מֵעַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֹא יַחְזִיר. וְכֵן גַּחֶלֶת שֶׁפָּקְעָה מֵעַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֹא יַחְזִיר:

3

[The following rules apply when] the limbs [of a sacrificial animal] flew off the altar. If they still have substance, even if they flew off after midnight,10 they should be returned to the altar,11 [for Leviticus 6:2] speaks of [the burnt-offering remaining] "on its fire, on the altar, the entire night." If they do not have substance, even if they flew off before midnight, they should not be returned.12 If the meat became charred and dried up upon them like wood13 and they flew off before midnight, they should be returned. After midnight, they should not be returned.14

ג

אֵיבָרִים שֶׁפָּקְעוּ מֵעַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אִם יֵשׁ בָּהֶן מַמָּשׁ אֲפִלּוּ פָּקְעוּ אַחַר חֲצוֹת הַלַּיְלָה יַחְזִיר. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ו ב) "עַל מוֹקְדָה עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כָּל הַלַּיְלָה". וְאִם אֵין בָּהֶם מַמָּשׁ אֲפִלּוּ פָּקְעוּ קֹדֶם חֲצוֹת לֹא יַחְזִיר. נִתְחָרֵךְ הַבָּשָׂר וְיָבַשׁ עֲלֵיהֶן כְּעֵץ וּפָקְעוּ קֹדֶם חֲצוֹת יַחְזִיר אַחַר חֲצוֹת לֹא יַחְזִיר:

4

After one cuts up the limbs of the burnt-offering, all of the different portions should be brought to the altar's ramp15 and salted there.16 Afterwards, all of the limbs should be brought up to the top of the altar.17 The gid hanesheh18 should be removed at the top of the altar19 and tossed on the pile of ash in the midst of the altar. All of the limbs should be cast on the altar, as [implied by the prooftext cited above], "the flesh and the blood." Just as the blood is cast [on the altar],20 so too, all of the flesh must be cast [on the pyre].21 After they were tossed [on the altar, the priest] should come and arrange them on the pyre, as [Leviticus 1:12] states: "And the priest shall arrange them." If limbs [of sacrificial animals] were roasted and then brought up to the altar, they are not considered as a pleasing fragrance.

ד

כְּשֶׁמְּנַתֵּחַ אֵיבְרֵי הָעוֹלָה מוֹלִיכִין אֶת כָּל הַנְּתָחִים לַכֶּבֶשׁ וּמוֹלְחִין אוֹתָם שָׁם. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַעֲלִין כָּל הָאֵיבָרִים לְרֹאשׁ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וּמֵסִיר גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה בְּרֹאשׁ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּמַשְׁלִיכוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי הַדֶּשֶׁן שֶׁבְּאֶמְצַע הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וְזוֹרֵק כָּל הָאֵיבָרִים עַל הָאֵשׁ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יב כז) "הַבָּשָׂר וְהַדָּם". כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהַדָּם בִּזְרִיקָה כָּךְ כָּל הַבָּשָׂר בִּזְרִיקָה. וְאַחַר שֶׁזּוֹרְקָן חוֹזֵר וְעוֹרֵךְ אוֹתָן עַל הָאֵשׁ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא א יב) "וְעָרַךְ הַכֹּהֵן אֹתָם". וְאֵיבָרִים שֶׁצְּלָאָן וְאַחַר כָּךְ הֶעֱלָן לַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֵין בָּהֶם מִשּׁוּם רֵיחַ נִיחוֹחַ:

5

How is the burnt-offering cut up? One would not break the animal's leg. Instead, a hole was made in it.22 It was hung from [the hole]23 and skinned. If [the burnt-offering] was an ox, it should be skinned without being hung.24

The person25 continues skinning, until he gets to the breast, When he gets to the breast, he should cut off the head26 and give it to a priest. He then cuts off the feet27 and gives them to others. He then completes skinning the animal. He rips open the heart and takes out its blood. He then proceeds to the forelegs and cuts them off.28 He proceeds to the right hindleg and gives it to [the priest] who merited [to carry] the head. The two testicles should be taken with it.

Afterwards, he rips open the animal's [belly] until he reveals the intestines. He takes the fat29 and places it on the head, to cover the place of slaughter.30 He takes the inner organs and gives them to another [priest].

ה

כֵּיצַד מְנַתְּחִין אֶת הָעוֹלָה. לֹא הָיָה שׁוֹבֵר אֶת הָרֶגֶל אֶלָּא נוֹקְבוֹ וְתוֹלֶה בּוֹ וּמַפְשִׁיט. וְאִם הָיָה שׁוֹר מַפְשִׁיטוֹ בְּלִי תְּלִיָּה. וּמַפְשִׁיט עַד שֶׁהוּא מַגִּיעַ לֶחָזֶה. הִגִּיעַ לֶחָזֶה חוֹתֵךְ אֶת הָרֹאשׁ וְנוֹתְנוֹ לַכֹּהֵן. וְחוֹתֵךְ אֶת הַכְּרָעַיִם וְנוֹתְנָן לְאַחֵר וּמַשְׁלִים אֶת הַהֶפְשֵׁט. וְקוֹרֵעַ אֶת הַלֵּב וּמוֹצִיא אֶת דָּמוֹ. וְחוֹתֵךְ אֶת הַיָּדָיִם וְנוֹתְנָן לְאַחֵר. עָלָה לְרֶגֶל יְמִינִי חוֹתְכוֹ וְנוֹתְנוֹ לְמִי שֶׁזָּכָה בָּרֹאשׁ וּשְׁתֵּי בֵּיצִים עִמָּהּ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ קוֹרֵעַ אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה עַד שֶׁיִּגָּלוּ (אֶת) הַמֵּעַיִם. וְנוֹטֵל אֶת הַפֶּדֶר וְנוֹתְנוֹ עַל הָרֹאשׁ מִלְּמַעְלָה עַל בֵּית הַשְּׁחִיטָה. וְנוֹטֵל אֶת הַקְּרָבַיִם וְנוֹתְנָן לְאַחֵר:

6

[The latter] goes and washes them with water, as [Leviticus 1:13] states: "The inner organs and the feet should be washed with water." [This excludes] wine, a mixture of wine and water, and other liquids. All types of water are, [however,] acceptable.31

To what extent should he wash them? The stomach should be washed in the Washing Chamber32 to whatever degree necessary. The intestines should be washed at least three times.33 They should be washed on the marble table located between the pillars.

ו

הוֹלֵךְ וּמְדִיחָן בַּמַּיִם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא א יג) "וְהַקֶּרֶב וְהַכְּרָעַיִם יִרְחַץ בַּמָּיִם". לֹא בְּיַיִן וְלֹא בְּמֶזֶג וְלֹא בִּשְׁאָר מַשְׁקִין. וְכָל הַמֵּימוֹת כְּשֵׁרִין. כַּמָּה מְדִיחָן. הַכָּרֵס מְדִיחִין אוֹתָהּ בְּבֵית [הַמְּדִיחִין] כָּל צָרְכָּהּ. הַקְּרָבַיִם אֵין פּוֹחֲתִין מִשָּׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים. וּמְדִיחִין אוֹתָן עַל שֻׁלְחָנוֹת שֶׁל שַׁיִשׁ שֶׁבֵּין הָעַמּוּדִים:

7

He then takes the knife and separates the lung from the liver and [also] the lobe of the liver from the liver.34 He should not move the liver from its place. He hollows out the chest and gives it to another [priest]. He then proceeds upward to the right flank and cuts if off and descends to the backbone. He does not touch the backbone35 until he reaches the two soft ribs. He cuts it off and gives it to another [priest] while the liver is attached to it.

ז

נָטַל אֶת הַסַּכִּין וּמַפְרִישׁ אֶת הָרֵאָה מִן הַכָּבֵד וְאֶצְבַּע הַכָּבֵד מִן הַכָּבֵד וְאֵינוֹ מֵזִיז הַכָּבֵד מִמְּקוֹמוֹ. וְנוֹקֵב אֶת הֶחָזֶה וְנוֹתְנוֹ לְאַחֵר. וְעוֹלֶה לַדֹּפֶן הַיְמָנִית וְחוֹתֵךְ וְיוֹרֵד עַד הַשִּׁדְרָה וְלֹא יִגַּע בַּשִּׁדְרָה. עַד שֶׁהוּא מַגִּיעַ לִשְׁתֵּי צְלָעוֹת רַכּוֹת חוֹתְכָהּ וְנוֹתְנָהּ לְאַחֵר וְהַכָּבֵד תְּלוּיָה בָּהּ:

8

He then reaches the neck and leaves it with two ribs on either side. He cuts it off and gives it to another priest with the windpipe, the heart, and the lungs attached to it. He proceeds to the left flank and leaves two soft ribs above and two soft ribs below and, as he had left in the other one. Thus on the two sides, he leaves four ribs on either side. He then cuts it off and gives it to another person together with the backbone36 with the spleen attached to it.

ח

בָּא לוֹ לַגֵּרָה מַנִּיחַ בָּהּ שְׁתֵּי צְלָעוֹת מִכָּאן וּשְׁתֵּי צְלָעוֹת מִכָּאן. חוֹתְכָהּ וְנוֹתְנָהּ לְאַחֵר וְהַקָּנֶה וְהַלֵּב וְהַרֵאָה תְּלוּיִין בָּהּ. בָּא לוֹ לַדֹּפֶן הַשְּׂמָאלִית וּמַנִּיחַ בָּהּ שְׁתֵּי צְלָעוֹת רַכּוֹת מִלְּמַעְלָה וּשְׁתֵּי צְלָעוֹת רַכּוֹת מִלְּמַטָּה וְכָךְ הָיָה מַנִּיחַ בַּחֲבֶרְתָּהּ. נִמְצָא מַנִּיחַ בִּשְׁתֵּי הַדְּפָנוֹת אַרְבַּע צְלָעוֹת בְּזוֹ וְאַרְבַּע צְלָעוֹת בְּזוֹ. חוֹתְכָהּ וְנוֹתְנָהּ לְאַחֵר וְהַשִּׁדְרָה עִמָּהּ וְהַטְּחוֹל תָּלוּי בָּהּ:

9

He then comes to the tail and severs it and gives it to another [priest] together with the fat-tail, the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys with it.37 He should take the left foot and give it to another [priest]. This order should be followed when skinning and cutting up a burnt-offering of an animal. These are the portions referred to by the Torah [in Leviticus 1:6]: "You shall cut it into its portions."38

ט

בָּא לוֹ לָעֹקֶץ חוֹתְכוֹ וְנוֹתְנוֹ לְאַחֵר. וְהָאַלְיָה וְאֶצְבַּע הַכָּבֵד וּשְׁתֵּי כְּלָיוֹת עִמָּהּ. נוֹטֵל אֶת הָרֶגֶל הַשְּׂמָאלִית וְנוֹתְנָהּ לְאַחֵר. וּכְסֵדֶר זֶה מַפְשִׁיטִין וּמְנַתְּחִין עוֹלַת בְּהֵמָה. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַנְּתָחִין הָאֲמוּרִין בַּתּוֹרָה (ויקרא א ו) "וְנִתַּח אֹתָהּ לִנְתָחֶיהָ":

10

How many priests bring the limbs to the ramp? If the burnt-offering is from sheep, six priests should carry it.

י

בְּכַמָּה מוֹלִיכִין אֶת הָאֵיבָרִים לַכֶּבֶשׁ. אִם מִן הַצֹּאן הִיא הָעוֹלָה מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתָהּ שִׁשָּׁה:

11

The first [priest] carries the head and the [right] foot.39 [He carries] the head in his right hand40 with its nose facing his forearm and its horns between his fingers. The place where [the animal] was slaughtered is held upward with the fat upon it. The right foot is in his left hand41 with the side from which the skin was removed42 facing outward.

יא

הָרִאשׁוֹן בָּרֹאשׁ וּבָרֶגֶל. הָרֹאשׁ בִּימִינוֹ וְחָטְמוֹ כְּלַפֵּי זְרוֹעוֹ. וְקַרְנָיו בֵּין אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו. וּבֵית שְׁחִיטָה לְמַעְלָה וְהַפֶּדֶר עָלֶיהָ וְהָרֶגֶל שֶׁל יָמִין בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ וּבֵית עוֹרָהּ לַחוּץ:

12

The second [priest carries] the two forelegs, the right one in his right hand and the left one in his left hand.43 The side from which the skin was removed should face outward.

יב

הַשֵּׁנִי בִּשְׁתֵּי הַיָּדָיִם שֶׁל יָמִין בִּימִינוֹ וְשֶׁל שְׂמֹאל בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ וּבֵית עוֹרָן לַחוּץ:

13

The third [priest carries] the tail and the hindleg, the tail in his right hand with the fat-tail that hangs between his fingers. Together with it should be the lobe of the liver and the two kidneys. The left hindleg should be in his left hand with the side from which the skin was removed facing outward.

יג

הַשְּׁלִישִׁי בָּעֹקֶץ וּבָרֶגֶל. הָעֹקֶץ בִּימִינוֹ וְהָאַלְיָה מְדֵלְדֶּלֶת בֵּין אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו וְאֶצְבַּע הַכָּבֵד וּשְׁתֵּי הַכְּלָיוֹת עִמּוֹ וְהָרֶגֶל שֶׁל שְׂמֹאלוֹ בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ וּבֵית עוֹרָן לַחוּץ:

14

The fourth [priest carries] the breast and the neck, the breast in his right hand and the neck in his left hand with the ribs between his fingers.

יד

הָרְבִיעִי בֶּחָזֶה וּבַגֵּרָה. הֶחָזֶה בִּימִינוֹ וְהַגֵּרָה בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ וְצַלְעוֹתֶיהָ בֵּין אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו:

15

The fifth [priest carries] the two flanks, the right flank in his right hand and the left flank in his left hand. The side from which the skin was removed should face outward.

טו

הַחֲמִישִׁי בִּשְׁתֵּי דְּפָנוֹת שֶׁל יָמִין בִּימִינוֹ וְשֶׁל שְׂמֹאל בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ וּבֵית עוֹרָן לַחוּץ:

16

The sixth [priest carries] the intestines in a bowl.44 The feet should be placed above them.45 [This applies] if the burnt-offering was a sheep or a goat. If, however, it was a ram, two priests should bring the intestines.46

Similarly, [if it was a sheep,] the flour of the accompanying offering should be brought by one priest and the wine by another. If it was a ram, the flour should be brought by two priests47 and the wine, by two priests.

טז

הַשִּׁשִּׁי בַּקְּרָבַיִם נְתוּנִין בְּבָזָךְ וּכְרָעַיִם עַל גַּבֵּיהֶן מִלְּמַעְלָה. אִם הָיְתָה הָעוֹלָה כֶּבֶשׂ אוֹ עֵז. אֲבָל אִם הָיְתָה אַיִל מוֹלִיכִין הַקְּרָבַיִם שְׁנַיִם. וְכֵן הַסּלֶת שֶׁל נְסָכֶיהָ בְּיַד אֶחָד וְהַיַּיִן בְּיַד אַחֵר. וְאִם הָיָה אַיִל הַסּלֶת בִּשְׁנַיִם וְהַיַּיִן בִּשְׁנַיִם:

17

Thus eight [priests] bring [a burnt offering of] a sheep or a goat to the altar.48 That of a ram is brought by eleven and that of an ox is brought by twenty-four.

יז

נִמְצֵאתָ לָמֵד שֶׁהַכֶּבֶשׁ אוֹ הָעֵז מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתוֹ שְׁמוֹנָה לַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וְהָאַיִל מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתוֹ אַחַד עָשָׂר:

18

There are 24 [priests] who bring [a burnt offering of] an ox to the altar. The first brings the head. The second and the third bring the right foot.49The fourth and the fifth bring the tail. The sixth and the seventh bring the left foot. The eighth brings the breast. The neck is brought by three [priests], the ninth, tenth, and eleventh. The two forelegs are brought by two priests, the two flanks, by two, and the intestines, the flour, and the wine in sets of three.50 Thus there are 24.

יח

הַשּׁוֹר מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתוֹ אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים. הָרִאשׁוֹן מוֹלִיךְ אֶת הָרֹאשׁ. וְהַשֵּׁנִי וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁי מוֹלִיכִין הָרֶגֶל שֶׁל יָמִין. וְהָרְבִיעִי וְהַחֲמִישִׁי מוֹלִיכִין אֶת הָעֹקֶץ. וְהַשִּׁשִּׁי וְהַשְּׁבִיעִי מוֹלִיכִין אֶת הָרֶגֶל שֶׁל שְׂמֹאל. וְהַשְּׁמִינִי מוֹלִיךְ אֶת הֶחָזֶה. וְהַגֵּרָה מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתָהּ שְׁלֹשָׁה. תְּשִׁיעִי וַעֲשִׂירִי וְאַחַד עָשָׂר. וּמוֹלִיכִין שְׁתֵּי הַיָּדָיִם בִּשְׁנַיִם. וּשְׁתֵּי הַדְּפָנוֹת בִּשְׁנַיִם. וְהַקְּרָבַיִם וְהַסּלֶת וְהַיַּיִן בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה שְׁלֹשָׁה הֲרֵי אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים:

19

Why was a large limb of an ox not divided into portions? Because it is written: "You shall cut it into its portions." [Implied is that] its portions should not be cut into portions.

When are the above [number of priests] required [to bring the limbs to the altar]?51 For a communal burnt-offering. If it was desired that the portions of an individual burnt-offering be brought to the altar with less than this [number of priests] or more, it is possible.

יט

וְלָמָּה לֹא יְחַלְּקוּ הָאֵיבָר הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁל שׁוֹר לַחֲלָקִים. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא א ו) "וְנִתַּח אֹתָהּ לִנְתָחֶיהָ" וְלֹא נְתָחֶיהָ לִנְתָחִים. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּעוֹלוֹת הַצִּבּוּר. אֲבָל עוֹלוֹת הַיָּחִיד אִם רָצוּ לְהוֹלִיךְ נְתָחֶיהָ בְּפָחוֹת מֵאֵלּוּ אוֹ בְּיוֹתֵר מוֹלִיכִין:

20

How was the burnt-offering of a fowl brought? [The priest] would ascend upon the ramp52 He would turn [right] to the surrounding ledge and approach the southeast corner.53 There he would sever the head [of the fowl] at the nape of its neck, severing [the head]54 entirely. If he does not sever it entirely, [the sacrifice] is invalid. He then squeezes out the blood of the head and the blood of the body on the wall of the altar above the [scarlet] band in the middle of the altar.

If he squeezed out the blood of the head, but did not squeeze out the blood of the body, [the sacrifice] is invalid. If he squeezed out the blood of the body, but did not squeeze out the blood of the head, [the sacrifice] is valid.55

כ

עוֹלַת הָעוֹף כֵּיצַד הָיְתָה נַעֲשֵׂית. עוֹלֶה לַכֶּבֶשׁ וּפָנָה לַסּוֹבֵב וּבָא לוֹ לְקֶרֶן דְּרוֹמִית מִזְרָחִית וְהָיָה מוֹלֵק שָׁם אֶת רֹאשָׁהּ מִמּוּל עָרְפָּהּ וּמַבְדִּיל. וְאִם לֹא הִבְדִּיל פְּסוּלָה. וּמְמַצֶּה דַּם הָרֹאשׁ וְדַם הַגּוּף עַל קִיר הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְמַעְלָה מִן הַחוּט שֶׁבְּאֶמְצַע הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וְאִם מִצָּה דַּם הָרֹאשׁ וְלֹא מִצָּה דַּם הַגּוּף פְּסוּלָה. מִצָּה דַּם הַגּוּף וְלֹא מִצָּה דַּם הָרֹאשׁ כְּשֵׁרָה:

21

He should take the head and bring the opening where it was severed close to the altar, dips it into salt,56 and cast it on the pyre. He then focuses his attention on the body. He removes the crop,57 the skin that is upon it with its feathers,58and the intestines that are removed with it59 and casts them on the ash pile.60

כא

וְנוֹטֵל אֶת הָרֹאשׁ וּמַקִּיף בֵּית מְלִיקָתוֹ לַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְסוֹפְגוֹ בְּמֶלַח וְזוֹרְקוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי הָאִשִּׁים. וּבָא לוֹ לַגּוּף וְהֵסִיר אֶת הַמֻּרְאָה וְהָעוֹר שֶׁעָלֶיהָ בְּיָדוֹ עִם הַנּוֹצָה וְאֶת בְּנֵי מֵעַיִם הַיּוֹצְאִין עִמָּהּ וּמַשְׁלִיכָן לְבֵית הַדֶּשֶׁן:

22

[Leviticus 1:17 states:] "He shall split it with its wings" - [this is performed] by hand,61 not with a knife. He need not separate [one part of the body from the other], as [that verse] states: "He [need] not separate it." If he separates it, it is valid. He then spreads salt upon it and casts it upon the altar.

If he did not remove the craw, the feathers, or the intestines or spread salt upon it, it is valid. As long as the change that one makes comes after squeezing out the blood, [the sacrifice] is acceptable.62

כב

(ויקרא א יז) "וְשִׁסַּע אֹתוֹ בִכְנָפָיו". בְּיָדוֹ בְּלֹא סַכִּין. וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהַבְדִּיל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא א יז) "לֹא יַבְדִּיל" וְאִם הִבְדִּיל כָּשֵׁר. וְסוֹפְגוֹ בְּמֶלַח וְזוֹרְקוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי הָאִשִּׁים. לֹא הֵסִיר אֶת הַמֻּרְאָה וְלֹא אֶת הַנּוֹצָה וְלֹא אֶת בְּנֵי מֵעַיִם וְלֹא סְפָגָהּ בְּמֶלַח כָּל שֶׁשִּׁנָּה בָּהּ מֵאַחַר תַּמְצִית הַדָּם כְּשֵׁרָה:

23

How is melikah performed? [The priest] cuts and descends with his nail at the nape of the neck.63 If he desires to move his nail back and forth,64 he may. If he wishes to chop and descend with his nail,65 he may. If the organs necessary for ritual slaughter slip from their place,66 he need not be concerned.

He must cut through the spine, i.e., the neckbone, without cutting through the majority of the meat surrounding it, for if he would cut through the majority of the meat, [the sacrificial animal] would be considered as dead67 before he reached the organs necessary for ritual slaughter. With regard to a burnt offering, as he descends he must cut both the organs68 necessary for ritual slaughter.

When one performs melikah with a knife or does so from the side, it is not considered as melika. Instead, it is like strangling or decapitating the fowl. The entire [width of] the nape of the neck is acceptable for melikah.

כג

כֵּיצַד מוֹלְקִין. קוֹצֵץ וְיוֹרֵד בַּצִּפֹּרֶן מִמּוּל עֹרֶף. אִם רָצָה לְהוֹלִיךְ וּלְהָבִיא מוֹלִיךְ וּמֵבִיא. וְאִם רָצָה לִהְיוֹת דּוֹרֵס וְיוֹרֵד בַּצִּפֹּרֶן דּוֹרֵס. וְאִם נֶעֶקְרוּ הַסִּימָנִים אֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ. וְחוֹתֵךְ שִׁדְרָה וּמִפְרֶקֶת בְּלֹא רֹב בָּשָׂר. שֶׁאִם חָתַךְ רֹב בָּשָׂר הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּמֵתָה קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לַסִּימָנִין. וְצָרִיךְ לַחְתֹּךְ שְׁנֵי הַסִּימָנִים בָּעוֹלָה כְּשֶׁהוּא יוֹרֵד. וְהַמּוֹלֵק בְּסַכִּין אוֹ מִן הַצְּדָדִין אֵינָהּ מְלִיקָה אֶלָּא כְּמִי שֶׁחָנַק אוֹ נָחַר. וְכָל הָעֹרֶף כָּשֵׁר לִמְלִיקָה:

Footnotes
1.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 63) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 115) include this as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. This refers both to the burnt-offerings brought by individuals and those brought by the Jewish people as a whole.

2.

Having described the general principles that apply with regard to all the sacrifices, the Rambam begins to focus on each one individually, describing its laws in a particular chapter or set of halachot. Here the Rambam focuses on the manner in which the sacrifices are brought. In later sets of halachot, he speaks of the obligations of individuals and of the Jewish people as a whole to bring these sacrifices.

3.

See Chapter 5, Halachot 1-3, with regard to the slaughter of the animal and Halachah 6 of that chapter with regard to casting its blood on the altar.

4.

All of these are not fundamental parts of the animal's body. Hence while they are connected to the body, they are considered as part of it and must be offered on the altar's pyre. The implication is that ordinarily, they would not be separated and the animal would be offered on the altar while they were attached. Nevertheless, if they had been separated and they had descended from the altar, they are considered as distinct and there is no longer any obligation to offer them.

5.

If, however, they flew off the pyre, but remained on the altar, they should be placed back on the pyre (Meilah 9b).

6.

This addition is made on the basis of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 9:5).

7.

Indeed, if they were brought up to the altar as separate entities, they should be taken down again, rather than offered (Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 3:16). Nevertheless, if they were separated on the altar itself before they were offered, they should not be taken down, but instead should be offered on its pyre (Radbaz, Rav Yosef Corcus).

8.

The prooftext is defining the meat and the blood as the fundamental elements of a burnt offering. The implication is that it is necessary for them to be consumed by the altar's fire and hence, they must be returned to the altar if they flew off. There is, by contrast, no fundamental necessity for the secondary elements of the animal's body to be consumed by fire. Hence there is no obligation to return them to the altar if they flew off.

9.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 9:6), the Rambam explains that often we see that when entities that contain moisture are placed on a fire, the moisture will vaporize. At times, the process will be powerful enough to lift up that entity and propel it upward.

10.

When at times a distinction is made, as the Rambam explains in the second portion of the halachah.

11.

To be consumed by its fire, as the mitzvah requires.

12.

For the mitzvah of having them consumed by fire has been completed.

13.

I.e., they did not become like ash.

14.

Zevachim 86a notes that the prooftext cited speaks of the burnt offering being on the altar's fire "the entire night, until the morning." From the redundancy, our Sages derive that within the night, a distinction should be made. See also the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.).

15.

See Halachot 10-18 which describes the manner in which the limbs are brought to the altar.

16.

For salt must be applied to all offerings (see Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 5:11-12).

17.

Different priests would perform this service, i.e., one priest would bring a limb to the ramp and salt it and another one would bring it to the top of the altar (Radbaz, Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 4:6,8).

18.

The Rabbis identified the gid hanesheh as the sciatic nerve, the large main nerve running down the back of an animal's hind leg. This nerve must be separated before the meat of an animal is eaten or offered on the altar. See Hilchot Ma'achaolot Assurot 8:1 for more details.

19.

It should not be removed beforehand, because the limb will not look attractive as it is being carried to the altar (Chulin 90b).

20.

As described in Chapter 5, Halachah 6.

21.

Indeed, the altar's ramp was separated slightly from the altar itself to insure that the limbs were thrown on the fire rather than merely placed there (Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 2:13).

22.

As obvious from the continuation of the halachah, the hole is not made in the animal's foot, but on its thigh above its knee. Thus it will remain hanging after its legs were cut off.

23.

There were pillars in the Temple Courtyard with hooks to serve this purpose (Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:13).

24.

Perhaps because of its weight, hanging it up would present a difficulty.

25.

In Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 9:6, the Rambamd states that the skinning of the animal and its division into portions need not be performed by a priest.

26.

If he would skin the breast before cutting off the head, the skin would hang from the neck and it would be difficult to cut off the head precisely (Tifferet Yisrael, Tamid 4:2). Alternatively, since the head is offered first, it is appropriate that it be cut off first (Radbaz).

27.

The portion below the knees.

28.

I.e., the portion from the knee until the shoulder joint.

29.

I.e., the fat that is on the digestive organs.

30.

So that when the head is carried to the altar, the opening where it was severed will not be seen. This is a gesture of respect for the Divine Presence.

31.

I.e., even water that is collected is acceptable (Kessef Mishneh).

32.

This chamber is described in Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:17. The stomach was washed there, because it would not be respectful to wash out its filth in the Temple Courtyard.

33.

Since they are narrow, it is difficult to clean them thoroughly. At least three washings are necessary. If more are required to clean them, they should be washed more [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Tamid 4:2)].

34.

For it is sacrificed with the tail as stated in Halachot 9 and 13.

35.

For the backbone is offered with the left flank.

36.

The Radbaz explains that the backbone is left intact so that the vertebrae will not separate into individual units.

37.

The ribs that were left are also taken with it (Radbaz).

38.

Rav Yosef Corcus states that there is no Scriptural source for the division of the animal in this manner. Instead, this was simply the most practical and logical way of dividing it.

39.

In this way, a portion of the animal with many bones (the head) and much meat (the leg) will have been offered. The head is also given priority, because it has been mentioned explicitly in the Torah (Radbaz).

40.

For the offering of the head is most important.

41.

Since carrying the limbs to the altar is not part of the atonement process, there is no difficulty in it being performed with one's left hand (Rabbenu Asher).

42.

I.e., the outer side. Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Tamid 4:4).

43.

These limbs are the largest and hence, receive priority.

44.

Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (op. cit.). Others interpret the term bezech differently.

45.

To cover them, for their appearance is not appealing (Radbaz).

46.

Since a ram is much larger than a sheep, it would be difficult for one priest to carry the intestines alone. The Radbaz explains that the intent is that the intestines are cut in half and part given to one priest and part to another. The Tifferet Yisrael (Yoma 2:6) differs and maintains that two priests carry them together.

47.

Here too, because it is a larger amount, it would be difficult for one priest to carry it. Here too, the Radbaz explains that the intent is that each priest carries a container with half of the meal offering, while the Tifferet Yisrael maintains that it is placed in a large container and that container is carried by two priests together.

48.

The Rambam is speaking about any burnt-offering. Therefore he does not mention the chavitin offering which is brought together with the daily burnt-offering.

49.

For the foot of an ox is large and requires two priests to bring it. Similar concepts apply with regard to the other limbs.

50.

Here also the Radbaz explains that the portions would be divided, with each priest receiving a separate portion. This, he maintained, is a greater expression of honor and respect than to have the priests carry the burdens together.

51.

The bracketed additions are made on the basis of the gloss of the Radbaz. He explains that the animal may not be cut into smaller portions, as implied by the first clause of this halachah. (Indeed, the prooftext cited refers to an individual burnt-offering.)

52.

Holding the fowl.

53.

Zevachim 65a states that this corner is chosen, because it is close to the ash pile where the skin and the intestines would be cast.

54.

The Lechem Mishneh (gloss to Chapter 7, Halachah 6) quotes authorities who maintain that he need not sever the head entirely from the body entirely. What must be severed are the gullet and the windpipe organs. Just as ritual slaughter requires that they be severed, so too, they must be severed in the rite of melikah. The Kessef Mishneh (to that halachah) however, understand the Rambam's words simply. The head must be separated from the body entirely.

55.

The rationale for both these rulings is that the majority of the blood is lodged in the body.

56.

For all offerings must be salted.

57.

One of the stomaches of the fowl.

58.

Our translation follows the Rambam's Commentary of the Mishnah (Zevachim 6:5). The Radbaz interprets the term notzah as feces rather than as feathers and explains that this enables us to understand why these organs are not burnt together with the rest of the fowl. The intestines of an animal are washed out before being offered. Hence they are fit to be offered on the altar. Those of the fowl are not.

59.

As required by Leviticus 1:16.

60.

The ash pile on the floor of the Temple Courtyard, between the ramp and the altar, near the southeastern corner of the altar. See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 2:12. The term ash-pile has several meanings; see Chapter 7, Halachah 4.

61.

As evident from Judges 14:6 (Zevachim 65b).

62.

Because the primary element of the sacrifice was completed (Rav Yosef Corcus).

63.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 8, which describes the manner in which the priest would hold the fowl. As stated there, this was one of the difficult tasks performed in the Sanctuary.

64.

As one does when performing ritual slaughter (Hilchot Shechitah 2:7).

65.

Such a motion is unacceptable for ritual slaughter (ibid. 3:7).

66.

This would disqualify an animal for ritual slaughter (ibid. 3:14).

67.

I.e., that would make the animal. trefe.

68.

Cutting the majority of them is, however, acceptable. They need not be severed entirely.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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